Imbolc – Celtic Festival of Lights on 2nd of February

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Names Imbolc / / Bridig / Light Festival / Oilmelc / Candle Festival
Importance in the Wheel of the year Beginning of the growing season
Symbols straw dolls, straw cross (Brigid’s cross), candle, milk
Colours white, light yellow, light green, light pink
Stones Amethyst, Turquoise
Keywords awakening, renewal, purification, plans

Why are we celebrating Imbolc?

The sun rises earlier and sets later now, the trees sprout, the birds sing. The sad winter seems to come to an end. At this time, which lies between the spring equinox and the winter solstice, we celebrate the powerful energy of light. Along with Samhain, Beltane, and Lughnasad, Imbolc is one of the four lunar festivals in the Celtic Wheel of the year. The moon is linked to female energy. In some languages, however, it is misunderstood as a masculine word (e.g. German: der Mond, Hindi: chaand). Anyhow many languages use the feminine article: la luna (Spanish, Italian), la lune (French), the maan (Afrikaans), la lua (Portuguese). At Imbolc, we celebrate fertility, renewal, youth, purification, and freshness.

This is how we can celebrate Imbolc today

Imbolc allows us to prepare for what is to come. We are still resting in winter, but we can already sense spring. Now we are crafting your plans for spring.

Imbolc rituals:

Awakening

We can now free ourselves from the rigidity of winter and become more active again. The early mornings with birds singing are perfect for a walk or a meditation in the open air. Feel the energy of Mother Earth. Feel, how she is her slowly stretching and awakening.

Renew

We can only let new things into our hearts if we make room for them. Now it’s time to look inside and sort everything out, what we don’t need anymore. What doesn’t serve me anymore? What can I leave behind so I don’t have to carry it around?

Cleaning

Now is the perfect time to clean the house thoroughly. We should also focus on ourselves and our bodies. Let’s treat ourselves to a face pack and a self-massage with almond or sesame oil.

Planning

In winter we long for the activities of summer. Now is the time when you can make plans. What do you want to do in the bright half of the year?

Festival of Lights

In former times, when there was no electric light, candles were still very valuable. Let’s give back some importance to the light. Light up some candles or lanterns in your house and garden at dusk. Give your eyes a break from artificial light and enjoy the enchanting power of the flame.

Fire ritual for Imbolc on 2nd of February

All these rituals can be combined in a fire ceremony. For this, you need a candle or a campfire. If you are celebrating indoors, be sure to have a glass of water ready and work on a fireproof surface (metal plate, stone plate …)

You need:

  • Fire (candle + fireproof base / campfire)
  • Matches
  • Water / Juice
  • 2 sheets of paper and pen
  • Incense

Preparation: Put everything you need within your reach and turn off all distractions (phone, pets in another room, do not disturb-sign at door…) You can set up a small altar to give more energy to the ritual. To do this, you will place stones around the fire, personal lucky charms, things in light or white colours and anything else that feels right for you. Now sit in a comfortable position on the floor and close your eyes.

1. Meditation: a journey to the awakening of the earth

Breathe deeply for a few moments and relax. Only when you feel completely rested in yourself, you go on. Now imagine that wherever you touch the ground, you let roots grow into the earth. These connect you to the earth and everything that is connected to the earth. Take your time for this and feel this connection with your whole being. Feel the energy of the earth. With your inner eye, you see how the earth awakes. Feel this energy and also bring it into your body. In your own time, you will come back to reality without losing this connection. Feel the energy of the earth and open your eyes.

2. Let  go of the old

Light the candle/campfire. Now take a piece of paper and a pencil and write down everything you want to let go. Sickness, habits, beliefs, emotions … You decide what you no longer need.

After you have written everything down, read through your list and feel every single point inside you. Where is this energy that you want to let go of? Scan every part of your body.

Then you burn your list in the flames. Watch it burn and feel the fire cleaning the affected areas of your body. Take enough time to feel the changes. Now there is room for new energy!

3. Cleaning

What happened in your body we now want to do in your home as well. Light a stick of incense or any other incense and walk through your home. Smudge out your home and let new energy flow in. If no one can watch the fire, extinguish the flame. Go into each room and ask that all used energy should vanish. Afterward, open the windows briefly so that this energy can really escape. Do not blow into the incense to spread the smoke, use your empty hand for that! Return to your altar and reignite the flame.

4. Plan your dreams

Now take the second sheet of paper and write down everything you want to do and achieve in the bright half of the year and how you can achieve it. Rational thinking does not play a role here. As long as you believe in achieving something, you will! But be fair with yourself and the universe, and set up realistic timings. To visit every continent within a month would be tight and not very fulfilling.

When you’ve finished your list, fold the paper and put a glass of water or juice on it. Close your eyes and imagine what it feels like to achieve exactly these things. How does it feel? Be completely absorbed in this feeling.

Hold the glass and let this very energy of joy and success flow into the liquid. Then you drink the glass. Make the promise to believe in yourself and your goals. You deserve to fulfill your dreams!

5. Enjoy the light!

Imbolc is the feast of the light. Take the freedom and time to just stare into the flames and process the events of your ritual.

I wish you a magic Imbolc ceremony!

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